Tropical Storm Ophelia not a hurricane yet; no threat to the US


Through today, October 11, we've had 15 named storms - 10 of which have been hurricanes, and 5 of those 10 became major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

If Ophelia becomes a hurricane it will be the ninth so far this year in the Atlantic.

Some of Ophelia's rain bands are likely to hit the Azores islands over the weekend.

Ophelia is racing across the Atlantic at 6mph and is forecast to reach hurricane strength tomorrow.

Ophelia developed into a tropical storm less than 48 hours after Hurricane Nate made landfall on the northern Gulf Coast of the United States.

At 5 a.m., the center of the storm was about 784 miles southwest of the Azores. It was moving east at 3 miles per hour.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Wednesday afternoon that Ophelia gained hurricane status as its top sustained winds reached 75 miles per hour.

While Ophelia may lose the technical aspects that make it a hurricane, it could still pack a punch. "However, despite the much improved satellite appearance, it appears that the increased convective organization has not yet translated into an increase in the surface winds based on a 1204Z ASCAT-B overpass, which only showed winds of 30-31 knots in the southern quadrant".

The NHC forecasts Ophelia to transition into a post-tropical cyclone by Monday - but with winds remaining at or above hurricane force - as it curls northeast, then northward off the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain).

If the storm strikes Ireland, it would probably not do so as a hurricane, instead having morphed into a powerful extratropical storm as it passed over waters too cold to sustain a conventional tropical system.